Entain’s Q1 Offers Mixed Results, But Confidence Abounds With Net Revenue Up 6%

Steven Melendez

Updated on:

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Entain plc reported Wednesday morning that total net gaming revenue for the first quarter was up 6% year over year on a constant currency basis, including revenue from its 50% stake in BetMGM.

Still, online net gaming revenue (NGR) excluding the United States was down 2% in constant currency — which means comparing numbers from this year and last at 2024 exchange rates. NGR in the U.K. and Ireland segment, where the company operates brands like Ladbrokes and Coral, was down 7% in constant currency, including a 9% drop in online NGR and 6% drop in retail NGR. The company attributed that drop to updates it’s made to comply with shifting regulatory requirements in the U.K.

“As expected, it continues to remain a market in flux for Entain,” said interim CEO Stella David in the company’s earnings call Wednesday, pointing to “the complexity that has crept into our customers’ journeys” thanks to those changes.

Still, Entain CFO and Deputy CEO Rob Wood said he’s optimistic the company can return to growth in the U.K. by the end of the year, as regulatory reforms take hold across the industry and the company rolls out updated gaming cabinets in its retail shops, which is expected to finish by the third quarter.

CEO search continues

Entain is also continuing to search for a permanent CEO. Former CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen departed the position in December following the company entering a $732 million settlement with U.K. revenue and customs authorities over allegations of bribery at the company’s former Turkish unit. David, who is also slated to succeed non-executive chairman Barry Gibson, said she’ll stay in the interim role until a new permanent chief executive takes over and sounded an optimistic note about the company’s growth prospects:

“We all know that turnarounds do not happen overnight,” David said. “But I’m very confident that our continued focus on operational excellence will deliver increasing value for shareholders.”

In the U.S., BetMGM’s first-quarter NGR was up 2% year over year, as the joint venture with MGM Resorts held a 14% market share in sports betting and iGaming with good customer engagement during the Super Bowl and March Madness, according to Entain. 

BetMGM players are beginning to see new betting options enabled by Entain’s acquisition of sports forecasting and modeling company Angstrom Sports last year, David said. New parlay capabilities are live for Major League Baseball and will roll out for pro basketball and football this year. BetMGM will also benefit from a loyalty points partnership with Marriott Bonvoy and the expansion of its multistate login system to Nevada, which means visitors to MGM’s Las Vegas casinos will be able to gamble with BetMGM and use the same app when they return home.

“We are in a unique position in Nevada, that we’ve got the relationship with MGM,” David said.

The company also pointed to growth in its Central and Eastern European unit, where NGR was up 11% year-over-year on a pro forma basis, which means treating 2023 acquisitions as if they were in place at the start of that year. The international unit, which includes Australia, Italy, Brazil, Netherlands, New Zealand, Georgia, and Germany, also saw an 8% gain in NGR.